Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #7 · Major change, need advice |
...I'm seriously considering switching from strobes to continuous lighting instead. ...What's the advantage of one vs the other. Keeping in mind I rarely shoot outdoors nor compete with ambient lighting. I feel this system is easier because what you see is what you get in terms of exposure. The modeling lights work great, but they're basically a guide to see where your light will go.
As you say, an advantage of continuous lights is that they're WYSIWYG. Not only WYSIWYG for you, but also for your camera's light meter.
Also, some people are bothered by the bright flash and popping sound of strobes.
The disadvantages are:
Much lower power. 6 CFL bulbs may put out power equal to 1000 watts or so, but a strobe is measured not in watts, but in watt/seconds. So even a 320Ws strobe is putting out light equal to thousands of watts.
Because continuous lights are...well...continuous, changing shutter speeds will change the exposure. The faster the shutter speed, the less light gets in. Getting enough light may require slow shutter speeds that could cause motion blur. On the other hand, there's no sync speed limit; any shutter speed your camera can do will work with continuous lights, it's only a question of if there's enough light for a proper exposure.
Lastly, most continuous light sources are limited in power adjustability. The Impact lights you showed have six lamps controlled by three switches, so you only have a choice of 2, 4, or 6 lamps lit. That's less than 3 stops of difference, compared to 6 for your Alien Bees.
That said, many people like the CFL lights for portraiture, still lifes, etc. Toward the end of his life, the noted portraitist Monte Zucker started using Westcott Spiderlites with CFL bulbs, and he said that he found them especially good for shooting children and family groups. Scott Kelby also has used them; here's a short promo video he made about them:
So, what should you do? It's hard to say. One idea would be to keep your ABs until you've used the Impacts for a while, and then sell whichever ones you like less. Or, if your budget can handle it, keep both and use the ones best suited for a given job. You can even use both kinds at the same time.
BTW, if you do want to get an Impact kit, for about $120 more than the two-light Octacool-6 set you can get a two-light Octacool-9 set. In addition to more total power in each head you also get a little over 4 stops of adjustability including partial stops (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 lamps lit) versus less than 3 stops with the Octacool-6.